tv ABC7 News 500PM ABC December 29, 2021 5:00pm-5:30pm PST
>> building a better bay area. moving forward. finding solutions. this is abc7 news. >> covid cases are surging and restrictions are tightening. indoor masking is back, as a handful of counties reverse their decisions to offer mask exemptions. thank you for joining us. ama: you are watching abc7 news. here's a look at california numbers driving the covid concerns. today the test positivity rate hit double digits. it was 9.7% yesterday and 5.4% on monday. it's now 11.2%. hospitalizations are up 10% to more than 5000 patients. more than 20,000 new cases reported. the number of icu admissions remained relatively stable while there were 71 new deaths. dan: because of the surge, bay area counties are now tightening
the restrictions. all of the bay area counties that had exemptions to the indoor mask policy have reversed them. that means regardless of vaccination status, masks are again required indoors. melanie woodrow has details. reporter: the city of berkeley, along with alameda, san francisco all announcing today the return of masks to indoor settings. >> it is up to us to take this measure of safety. we know we can protect people against infection. reporter: several counties previously allowed people to take off their masks if they were vaccinated. masks will now be required in public spaces, including gymnasiums and fitness studios. >> at this point, it's been two years, on and off. reporter: adam worries that change will keep people from signing up for gym memberships january 1, a time when the industry typically thrives. >> we need that strong quarter,
after two years of being as impacted as we have been. masks are good, they lower the risk, but what really minimizes the risk is maintaining good health. reporter: public health officer dr. matt willis understands the frustration but says that change is necessary, due to the rising case numbers. >> our hope is that the omicron surge ends or plateaus quickly and comes down, at which point we would be equally responsive to removing any barriers, in the restrictive policies at that point. reporter: san francisco today announced booster requirements for workers in health care and in high-risk settings by february 1. mega events have to proof of up-to-date vaccinations, including a booster received at least one week prior to the event for eligible patrons and staff. san francisco will follow the cdc's guidance that people who test positive for covid-19 but
are asymptomatic or recommended to isolate for five days instead of 10, with him asking for an additional five days. san mateo and santa clara counties say masks had already been required in public indoor settings and did not have the exemptions other counties are now rescinding. ama: new san francisco guidance requiring boosters for health care workers, it takes effect february 1 and includes people who work in health care and other high-risk settings. the move aligned san francisco with the state guidance and is similar to the rules in sonoma and santa clara counties. boosters will also be required for those attending indoor mega-events. j center tweeted starting february 1, proof of full vaccination will be required for entry into chase center, including a booster for those eligible. those under 12 years old must show proof of full vaccination or a negative covid test. dan: san francisco's new order also strongly urges restaurants, bars, and gymnasiums to require
patrons to show proof will a booster shot if they are eligible. a new booster mandate takes effect today, meaning everyone 18 years and older eating indoors in this cafe will be required to show proof of a vaccine booster. the caffe's chef says the omicron variant made that decision necessary. >> it's important we do what we can to keep the numbers low. because there are people that are less protected in our community for various reasons. and those of us who are protected need to do our best to keep from spreading the virus. dan: they are requiring staffers to be fully boosted, in order to work at the restaurant. ama: not to new developments with coronavirus amid the omicron variant surge -- the supreme court is considering whether to allow the biden administration to require millions of americans to get covid-19 vaccines. so far the court has been tolerant of state or local vaccine mandates. those implement it by the federal government could draw hostility from the conservative
majority. rep at antigen test's may be less sensitive to omicron. the agency says home test kits are likely to work better, as the virus worsens. dr. anthony fauci is warning americans to avoid large new year's eve celebrations, saying small family gatherings with people who are vaccinated and boosted are relatively safe. dan: let's turn your attention to the latest on storm watch, tracking conditions in the sierra. the governor activated the state operations center to help coordinate california's response to the winter storms. officials are telling drivers essential travel only. both highway 50 and interstate 80 are back open. traffic has been slow moving all day because of the hazardous conditions. snow is still falling in crews continued to clear downed trees and power lines. >> we are encouraging people to not make a run for it. it's just not ideal. and it's not safe. dan: the director also
traffic backup is hindering emergency operations for many of the local communities that have been written without power and -- that have been without power and are running low on supplies. hold off on the travel at least until tomorrow, they say, when the area is expected to get a break in the weather. ama: that's a good plan. for more on the snow and the rain in the bay area, our meteorologist. meteorologist: it is still an active evening, we have heavy rain falling across hours of santa cruz and santa clara counties. there has been heavier flood advisory for parts of santa cruz, santa clara counties until 6:30 tonight. minor roadway flooding already reported. three quarters of an inch per hour in san jose. -- buckets of rain across 82 into burlingame. the sierra continues to see snow peabody light level 1 system. as we checked out the computer
animation, the showers will continue through this evening -- watch out for flooding on the roadways and a slight chance of thunder. i'm going to toss it now to drew, talking about what it looks like up there. looks like it's pouring. drew: it really is, it is absolutely pouring, chilly out here. the water here -- after such a great start, we are talking about the last three months, we've seen rainfall estimates well over where we should be for this time of year. i'm going to ask sandy to click ahead, because my clicker is not working. no matter where you live in the bay area, up to this point in the water, you are well above where you should be for this time of the year. the snowpack, too, very healthy right now. the statewide average, 150%. we have a healthy snowpack right now. we are cautiously optimistic. here's the reason why. we are in an el nino
when temperatures are cooler than average, we get la niña. the strength depends on how cold the ocean waters are. now we have a weekly nino. it means in a weak la niña, we are below average by the end of the year. ama, we are optimistic right now, but we need the storms to continue into march. we will keep you posted. ama: thank you, drew. in the south bay, the city of morgan hills -- reporter: a 70% reduction in crime. that's a promise from the company that helped the morgan hill police department deployed 25 license plate readers throughout the city. >> we knew the was successful. we didn't expected it to be that successful for us.
reporter:reporter: it alerts police when a car is stolen or registered to a person of interest. since installing the cameras in september, mh pd recovered 51 stolen vehicles and arrested 66 crime suspects tied to the alerts. >> it is great for agencies big and small to identify suspect vehicles. for those individuals committing crimes within each individual community. reporter: the cameras are in 1400 cities, including in vallejo, where a suspect was arrested thanks to the readers earlier this week. >> this is a good law enforcement tool, but at what societal cost? reporter: the cameras are not used to detect faces, gender, or race, just license plates and but this legal analyst says there is no probable cause requirements for the readers and people have a right to drive to locations they hope to keep private, such as gun stores or medical appointments. >> you have a right to travel in the u.s. without being harassed by the government.
certainly when you have this collection of data, you raise a lot of very significant privacy concerns. reporter: mario ramirez has no department has safety measures in place, including sole use of the department only when there's a case number. morgan held voted to keep the readers in place for two years. dan: still ahead -- unreliable transportation for students in one bay area community. the ongoing problem over getting kids to school, and what a solution reached today is only a temporary mandate. ama: plus a sixth day of celebrations against the former
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although the district found a solution, it is a band-aid on a march larger problem -- much larger problem. reporter: jaylin is enjoying his last few days of winter break, but his mom has been getting worried. she didn't know if her seven-year-old son would have a way to get to school this morning. >> first it was adequate transportation now they are talking that we won't have any at all for our kids to get thr -- get there. reporter: she relies on buses to get the kids to school, but since a school year began, the bus has been unreliable. often late, sometimes broken, and a few times hasn't showed up at all. >> our kids were getting to school right at the start of school. so, or sometimes even late. so they wouldn't really have time to eat breakfast. reporter: dr. garcia is the district superintendent, saying the nationwide school bus and
school bus driver shortage has made it nearly impossible to find reliable transportation option for their younger students. >> we've even reached out to reporter, and a transportation company in our geographic location. reporter: up until this afternoon, there was no plan in place to get the students to school after winter break. the district recently canceled their current contract with marin horizon since kids were not getting to school on time. but see no other option, late today, they changed course. dr. garcia says the district will have marin horizon buses operating next week. a very short-term solution for a much greater problem. >> get our kids some adequate bus services. >> i don't think it is because they didn't try really hard or didn't want it to work out. they are facing the same landscape and context as everyone else and it's really tough to operate a bus program right now. dan: closing and now on 50 hours
of deliberations, the jury in the criminal fraud trial against elizabeth holmes went home about an hour ago with no verdict -- meaning a verdict is not possible until the new year. deliberations are paused until monday. the longer jurors deliberate, legal experts were readers heightened risk that omicron could prompt big setbacks. stephanie sierra has the latest from federal court in san jose. reporter: the jury finished their six day of deliberations continuing the streak of silence in the courtroom. no questions or notes sent to the judge again today. limited clues have been revealed so far with only two questions asked leslie. the judge denied the first one when jurors requested to take jury instructions home. the jury asked the court to replay audio recordings of calls holmes had with investors. michelle hagan thinks the silence this week signals the jury is not confused and is moving along toward a verdict.
as omicron continues surging across the bay area, santa clara university law professor ellen k. says each day that goes by presents a greater risk for setbacks. >> if something happened to one of the jurors, the courts can pull an alternate jurors, the problem is they then have to tell the jury to completely restart the liberation -- the deliberations, on all the issues. with a quarantine rate of five days, with asymptomatic juror, the judge may postpone it for five days and resume it at that time. i think everyone is on somewhat of a wait and see and hope for the best that this will resolve itself. reporter: she's charged with 11 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy. she faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on each count. it only takes one juror to believe she's not guilty to result in a mistrial. legal experts days of deliberation is not an
ordinary -- unordinary, it shows the jury's being careful and conscientious. deliberations will not resume until monday after the holiday. ama: still still the legacy of john madden. several nfl players today first psoriasis, then psoriatic arthritis. it was really holding me back. standing up... ...even walking was tough. my joints hurt. i was afraid things were going to get worse. i was always hiding, and that's just not me. not being there for my family, that hurt. woooo! i had to do something. i started cosentyx®.
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dan: the sports world lost an icon yesterday. john madden died yesterday at the age of 85. we have more on how players and coaches around the nfl are remembering this remarkable man. reporter: it's been over 24 hours since the news broke of john madden's passing pair would while there is great sadness of the loss of such an influential sports figure, also plenty of joy remembering the great football life he lived. depending on where you were born, your memories of the great john madden are different --
some knew him as a legendary coach of the oakland raiders, others as an award-winning broadcaster and a hall of famer, and for the younger generation, the videogame that bears his name. players across the nfl are reacting to the life of john madden. >> the impact he made are not only the nfl, but me and a lot of the players here, and this leak -- in this leak is tremendous, i want to show my respect, because such a great person and a great leader in the game of football. >> i'm thankful for john, i think we all watched football, the excitement he brought to the broadcast, his sounds, his conversations, is thanksgiving day turducken. >> every time he's around, such an amazing man. so kind spirit always everyone said he was definitely always a coach. >> such a huge impact, his love for the game and obviously madden. you have a football game named after you, that is a huge deal.
especially for someone like myself, growing up playing that game 24-7. reporter: i also had a chance to ask coach hallahan about him, while he didn't have a relationship with a coach, he said he would been a better student maybe wha -- student if you had not been playing that video can pivot whether you knew him or not, you felt like he really did. back to you. dan: he was an icon. for more on the life and legacy of john madden, go to our website, abc7news.com7news.com7m and read more on his impact on the bay area. ama: eucalyptus tree fell on a car and a home in the east bay this afternoon on monterey boulevard near highway 13 in the oakland hills. police blocked off the street while crews worked to clean up the area. thankfully, no reports of any injuries. dan: let's turn our attention back to the next few days in
terms of the forecast. ama: ama: and the new year ama: -- ama: and new year. meteorologist: we are going to be ringing in the new year on a bright note. rain is coming down from the san francisco peninsula into the south bay and santa cruz mountains. around san jose, benton street, santa clara, we are seeing some intense rain rates in this area around singletary have any. -- avenue. looking at the santa cruz mountains, highway one, moderate rain falling, there is a flood advisory 6:30 tonight. that was extended because they have seen some minor roadway flooding. taking a look at the peninsula, around half moon bay, skyline boulevard, you will notice there are some pockets of moderate rain right in this vicinity. letter rainfall through tonight, a level 1 with a brief heavy downpours. minor flooding will continue. still a slight chance of thunder
until the sun sets. temperatures in the 40's and 50's. the sun is coming down right now. if your raindrops on the lens of the santa cruz camera. rain showers taper off tonight. cold and frosty mornings through the weekend. wet weather returns next week. here's a beautiful view from kingsbury. definitely looks like december in the mountains right now. chain controls on 50, 88, and 4. the sierra snow continues to fall. we will see the building of our snowpack. a winter storm warning until 10 p.m. tonight. above 2000 feet i will -- above 2000 feet. i would hold off on travel. it is treacherous to travel in the piedmont at this hour. you will have an opportunity. scattered showers 6:00 tonight. there will be brief downpours going into 8:00 p.m.. showers begin to wind down by the time we go into 9:00 p.m. then it is all done t. tomorrow morning, the
coldest spots in the 20's. i don't expect it to be quite as cold as what is ahead. afternoon highs are coming up today. numbers tomorrow afternoon, mostly in the 50's. a few mid and upper 40's around the lake port and mendocino county area. a chilly morning. drying out tomorrow. cold mornings friday and saturday with frost. wwe will be ending 2021 with dry weather and -- wet weather and starting off 2022 the same way. we will bump up those overnight temperatures in the afternoon highs. while the weather but a storm comes in. 2 on monday pair lingering showers. level 1 for wednesday. your rain can be put away after tonight. we will get a break. ama: after more than six weeks of delays, the commercial crop
app. just search abc 7 bay area and download it. dan: crab season is now underway at the port of san francisco, making it easier for local fishermen to sell their catch. ama: commissioners launched a pilot program this year allowing fishermen to sell fresh crab right off their boats. the process began a few hours ago, one fishermen we spoke with loves the change. >> it's great, especially for smaller boats like mine, that don't produce thousands of tons. it gives us a little bit of an option to sell off the boat and keep our living going. dan: the pilot program will run at least a year, fresh dungeness is selling for $10 a pound this year. the start of the commercial season was delayed until today to allow whales to migrate safely for the winter. ama: a lot of people ar excited about that. world news tonight is up next. dan: from all of us here, we appreciate your time, hope to
see you again in half an hour for abc 7 news at 6:00. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit nc - hi mommy! - hi honey! oh i missed you! you just want to video call the kids. ok. ♪ hush little baby...♪ ♪...don't say a word...♪
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breaking news as we come on the air. the jury reaching a verdict in the federal trial of ghislaine maxwell. the longtime associate of jeffrey epstein guilty of helping him sexually abuse teenage girls. the jury convicting her on five of six charges. the verdict coming in on the sixth day of deliberations, after about 40 hours. jurors pouring over testimony from the victims. the judge telling everyone in the courtroom to remain quiet and calm as the verdict was revealed. reaction now coming in. today's other major headlines. the u.s. shattering its own record for daily covid cases. more than 277,000 new cases reported in 24 hours. three people infected every second, with the delta and omicron va